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Poins Sir John, I prithee, leave the prince and me alone: I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure that he shall go. Falstaff Well, God give thee the spirit of persuasion and him the ears of profiting, that what thou speakest may move and what he hears may be believed, that the true prince may, for recreation sake, prove a false thief; for the poor abuses of the time want countenance. Farewell: you shall find me in Eastcheap. 155 160 Prince Farewell, thou latter spring! farewell, All-hallown summer!
This situation was reported to the King as a refusal. The language Hotspur uses to describe the messenger’s manner and appearance is full of scorn. Calling him “fresh as a bridegroom” is ironically insulting. The repeated letter “p” sound in “perfumed” and “pouncet” emphasizes his contempt. (Linguists call “p” a “plosive” sound, and its explosive qualities emphasize the mood of Hotspur’s speech. ) The picture of the messenger taking delicate pinches of snuff while surrounded by the dead, dying, and wounded is vivid and sickening.
Falstaff Why, that’s well said. Prince Well, come what will, I’ll tarry at home. Falstaff By the Lord, I’ll be a traitor then, when thou art king. 150 Prince I care not. Poins Sir John, I prithee, leave the prince and me alone: I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure that he shall go. Falstaff Well, God give thee the spirit of persuasion and him the ears of profiting, that what thou speakest may move and what he hears may be believed, that the true prince may, for recreation sake, prove a false thief; for the poor abuses of the time want countenance.